Therese Comodini Cachia has had a change of heart and will take up her new seat in the Maltese Parliament and give up her European Parliament seat after all, it was announced this afternoon.
The newly-elected Nationalist MP raised a storm of criticism from both sides of the political divide when she announced on Tuesday that she would not take up her seat in the Maltese parliament and instead stay on as a Member of the European Parliament in Brussels and Strasbourg.
Her decision was viewed by many as a betrayal of the people who voted for her, with many claiming that she had chosen Brussels for financial reasons.
Dr Comodini Cachia had argued that the PN needed to continue to have a strong voice in the European Parliament.
Dr Comodini Cachia said she had decided to reverse her decision following the public’s reaction and their call for her to serve in Malta and not in the European Parliament.
“I appreciate the sincerity shown, I thank everybody and apologise to those who were hurt by my original decision,” she said in a statement.
“I entered politics to serve the people, where they want me, and I am therefore choosing to represent the people in the Maltese parliament and will resign from the European Parliament.”
The Nationalist Party praised Dr Comodini Cachia for her decision and her personal sacrifice.
It said it appreciated the loyalty and personal sacrifice made by Dr Comidini Cachia when she contested the national election on insistence by the party leader.
Dr Comodini Cachia was elected to the Maltese parliament from the eighth district.
In the last legislature, despite being an MEP, she was also shadow minister for education.
Her U-turn means Francis Zammit Dimech, who failed to get re-elected, could now take her place in the European Parliament, although Ray Bugeja and Norman Vella also have a chance.
However, it also means that David Thake's chances of being elected in a casual election have taken a hit.